2017 Global Grantee Convening


Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the “Pearl of Africa”. It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by Tanzania. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, which is also bordered by Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda takes its name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompassed a portion of the south of the country including the capital Kampala.

• Total area: 241,038 sq km
• Capital: Kampala
• Entebbe: Located 40 km south of the capital Kampala
• Population: 37.5 million


Uganda has a tropical climate that is generally rainy with two dry seasons (December to February, June to August); semi-arid in northeast. Most regions of Uganda, apart from the dry area in the north,have an annual rainfall of between 1,000mm and 2,000mm. There is heavy rain between March and May and between October and November. Temperatures average 24-27 C.


The unit of currency is the Uganda shilling. The US dollar is traditionally the hard currency of
preference, but the Euro, pound sterling and South African Rand are also widely accepted. Hard
currency cash can be changed for local currency at banks and private forex bureaus in all large
towns, but travelers’ cheques are not widely accepted outside Kampala. Local currency can be
drawn against Visa credit cards at selected ATMs in Kampala, at Entebbe International Airport, and in a few other large towns. Please note Pre 2006 USD cash notes are accepted at a lower rate. Mostforex bureaus and banks give lower exchange rates for smaller denomination dollar bills (below $50).


Luganda: English is the official language of Uganda but Luganda is the lingua franca in Kampala.  Here are some phrases to get you started: Oli otya means “how are you?” Respond with gyendi—“I’m fine.” Geybale ko Nyabo (woman) or sebbo (man) is a common greeting, webale is thank you, and when you want to feign shock, surprise, or incredulity, banange will be sure to draw some laughs.